I guess they just don't make em like they used to...

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Nickfl, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,643
    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Location:
    Florida
    So I sat down at my workbench yesterday and started to clear it off for my next project and when I came across some tubes I pulled out of the last amp I was working on I was dismayed to discover one had mysteriously bit the dust:

    IMG_20191011_214231.jpg

    I pulled this JJ 12AY7 out of the V1 position in my 5E3 clone a week ago when I did the Dumble "Tweedle Dee" mods to it and replaced this with a 12ax7. The tube was 100% fine when it came out of the amp, but somehow this happed while it was just sitting there on my desk:

    IMG_20191011_214350.jpg

    A perfect break around the base of the tube as if someone intentionally cut it open, and with no effort as all the top slides right off the tube:

    IMG_20191011_214411.jpg

    I'm sure some of you have seen this sort of thing before, but it is new to me so I thought I'd share.

    It kind of sucks to loose a tube for no apparent reason, but at least it was just a JJ...
     
  2. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    482
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Location:
    Binghamton NY
    Wow that’s a bummer , I love tubes but sometimes they can be a pain. I wonder what it will be like in the future when JJs, Groove Tubes, and such becomes NOS tubes when all the RCA, JAN, GE, etc., are gone
     
    Nickfl, Torren61 and Greggorios like this.
  3. MuddyWolf

    MuddyWolf Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    271
    Joined:
    May 11, 2017
    Location:
    Paradise, Ca
    That's a JJ snowglobe.
     
    Nickfl, Torren61, archetype and 4 others like this.
  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,079
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    I'm guessing somehow it got scratched or scored. When cutting neon glass tubing, you generally just use a small file to score the tube perpendicular to the tube, and then "snap" it at that score. Sounds simple, and with practice it is, but it takes practice to learn to do with control. Neon glass tubing is very similar to vacuum tube glass. Your pic shows a very "clean" break.
     
    Nickfl, Greggorios and ronzhd like this.
  5. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,400
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Location:
    Richmond Va
    Be sure to clean up the leftover material that came out of the tube. The getter flashing and other parts of the tube are made with some pretty unhealthy stuff. Don't wanna breathe in any of the dust or leave anything on your skin.
     
    Nickfl and Greggorios like this.
  6. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,895
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Location:
    New England
    Funny thing is Czech art glass is the best in the world.

    InvisibleBabe.jpg

    This sculpture is part of the Smithsonian's Arts and Crafts collection. It's life sized, a massive lump of glass.

    JJ tubes break because they run them through their process as fast as they can. Glass tends to be more durable when it's allowed to cool slowly.
     
  7. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,079
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    You're correct about cooling slowly.....it's called "annealing".
     
    Nickfl likes this.
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,869
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    I have had a friends THD Univalve amp for over a year he wants me to fix. (I can't find out what wrong with it though) So it sits around. I noticed the other day that the 6L6 in it is totally white! The amp hasn't even been turned on in many months.
     
    Nickfl likes this.
  9. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,572
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    It's hard to enjoy the distinctive characteristics of a good tube amp when the heart of the operation--the tubes--becomes such a pain in the rear to get right. Between the defects and the fundamentally crappy build, I find it difficult to get new tubes that match up to even the generic NOS (or lightly used) stuff. I like EL84 amps, and that's a particularly difficult deal as the "reissue" Mullards and Genalex and other old brands are, IMO, even crappier than plain old JJs. My next amp will be SS for sure as I'm not sticking with this dying system. I'd rather play music than hunt for parts.
     
  10. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,684
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal
    Had same thing happen with a JJ 6L6. Clean, even break approx 1/4 way up the tube.

    A perfect cut - -probably some type of manufacturing defect IMO or maybe I was just too rough on it.

    Never had this happen with any other brand, have been changing tubes for years with various amps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
    Nickfl likes this.
  11. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    241
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2019
    Location:
    West Coast
    [​IMG]
     
    Nickfl and ClashCityTele like this.
  12. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    893
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Location:
    Ohio (Nerk)
    Gremlins dun it.


    I know everyone loves JJs, and they sound good, but I've seen less bizarre stuff happen to EHX tubes. Maybe because thier Russian factory probably hasn't changed much, but just an observation.
    Eventually we will run out of matched NOS and when we do, I'm leaning EHX.
    Or buying a factory.
     
    Wildcard_35 and nojazzhere like this.
  13. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    893
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Location:
    Ohio (Nerk)
    They kicked me out of GC for trying to Install tubes in that.... thier loss.
     
  14. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    3,342
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    For your EL84 needs, look no further than NOS 6p14p-EV. They're about as tough as you'll get, sound superb and cost about the same as a generic Shuguang or Sovtek. For combo amps, consider the same valve, but with the -k suffix. They'll withstand the torture chamber better than anything new on the market.

    If you're wiring your own amps, look to NOS Soviet 6n1p-EV, 6n2p-EV and 6n3p-EV in place of 12A*7 valves. The higher the second number, the higher the gain. Again, fine sounding, long lived, well made glassware. You just need to change the heater wiring over. They're 6.3V only.

    Huge stocks available, and they're less costly than current production, although the prices for 6p14p variants has risen of late.
     
    Nickfl likes this.
  15. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,512
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    Dang. That looks like the world’s biggest piece of Sabino, or something. If you’re into A&C, then we might like a conversation. I’m an ex-dealer in antiques and enjoy the stuff. I live near the spiritual home of Roycroft.

    Uh... yeah, tubes.
     
  16. Les Paul lover

    Les Paul lover Tele-Holic

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    550
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Location:
    England
    What shield did you have around that JJ when it was in the amp?

    I'm thinking it looks like it was scored by the base of a preamp shield - the base might have been a smidgen too tight, and wiggling it a bit too long might have been enough to score it all the way around?

    Just an idea - but if right, be careful if you remove the valve that replaced it.....!
     
    Nickfl likes this.
  17. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    893
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Location:
    Ohio (Nerk)
    Those look nicely cheap, what's the 6L6 equivalent?
     
  18. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    3,342
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    The old kid on the Bloc equivalent of the 6L6GT is the 6p3s and the tougher GC/5881 version is the 6p3s-E

    https://tubes-store.com/product_info.php?products_id=23

    Tough as old boots and fine sounding. The site linked above has a wide range of Eastern Bloc valves to explore.
     
    Nickfl likes this.
  19. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,643
    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Location:
    Florida
    I'm pretty sure that is what happened. That tube had been in there since I built the amp three plus years ago and I had a hell of a time getting it out. It's one of those ceramic sockets with the metal shield base and I think all the rocking back and forth must have scored the glass.
     
    nojazzhere and Les Paul lover like this.
  20. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,643
    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks for the link, finding out about that site makes breaking that 12ay7 feel like a lot less of a waste!

    I've come across 6n2p tubes when browsing eBay but never really read up on them before now. I have used 6f3p tubes in a build before and liked then quite a lot, so I'm open to trying some other Soviet tubes.

    I think might order a handful of 6n2p and 6l6 equivalents from that site to try them out. Have you tried any of the NOS sockets they sell? Those are tempting, especially after my recent experience with the crappy current production socket that started this thread...
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.